Seattle, WA — A Washington hacker group revealed a huge issue with the Mueller report that exposes the redactions. According to the ANIFA-affiliated Cha0s Archangels, simply copying and pasting the 400+ page reporting from its native PDF format into Microsoft Word removes all of the blocked text.
“This is a serious blunder,” said former FBI agent and security analyst and author Bill Hayes. “This is the second time in this hot mess of an investigation that redacted text has become visible. And this is how WikiLeaks was able to share that treasure trove of illegally-begot documents back in 2010, not to mention all the leaked emails back in 2016.”
According to a post on the Cha0s Archangels’ Facebook page, which has since been removed, they accidentally discovered the goof because one its members didn’t have Adobe Acrobat installed on their laptop. When another member, who goes by the name of J-Cryme copied the contents into Microsoft Word, the team was both delighted and shocked to find that they could suddenly view the redactions.
However there was just one catch. The ‘reveal’ only works in the 15-year-old version of Microsoft Word 2003. And according to several reports on the Internet, Microsoft has removed all traces of the legacy software after learning about the glitch.
“We were asked by the FBI to remove the software package,” said Microsoft spokesperson Bethany Millbright. “We often keep legacy versions of our products on the Internet for testing and posterity purposes. At this time, we have no idea how Microsoft Word 2003 played a role in revealing the Mueller redactions, but we are fully cooperating with law enforcement on this issue.”
How Did They Figure It Out?
It’s unclear why a member of the Cha0s Archangels had such an antiquated word processor installed on his/her laptop, when there are so many free and arguably more competitive versions available. However this hasn’t stopped experts from weighing in.
“It’s harder to track older software,” continued Mr. Hayes. “Also there’s less overhead and security concerns with a word processor that no one uses anymore. But the biggest thing, in my opinion, is that such an old piece of software doesn’t have the kind of digital signatures that can trace documents back to the hackers. That’s my guess.”
As for the redactions themselves, and what they show, since Microsoft pulled Word 2003 from their websites, only a handful of groups have the actual text of the Mueller report. However some advocacy groups have reported some success with earlier versions of Word, but those claims have not been verified at the time of publication.
As for the Cha0s Archangels, they plan on releasing the entire 400+ pages over the next few days according to a tweet believed to be linked with the group.